Approved by the ZAA Board of Directors, March 2015
Hereas the Zoological Association of America is dedicated to the responsible care and preservation of all life forms and the education of the general public concerning the value, conservation and the place of all living things in our greater biomass and the fragile web of life, we believe it is appropriate to formulate, authorize and disseminate this position statement.
Further although historically, snake round ups may have provided an acceptable venue for the control of venomous snakes that could pose a danger to livestock and people in the areas where they occur, it is our studied opinion that they no longer perform this function.
Moreover in general although they purport to educate the general population about the value and lives of venomous snakes, the continued containment, transportation and destruction of their natural populations and habitats appears unnecessary and in most cases destructive to the normal populations of not only snakes but other animals that share their habitats and ultimately the balance of the habitats themselves in which the unnatural uncontrolled extraction of animals occurs.
A thoroughly studied opinion of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH) found multiple rationales for the end of the traditional rattlesnake roundups and concluded by encouraging “...local communities to replace anachronistic events with festivals that celebrate the role of the rattlesnakes in nature and recognizes their significance as a historic symbol of our nation...”. We should do no less than that.
Therefore, it is the unanimous decision of the board of directors of the Zoological Association of America that our members should, at very least, refrain from supporting or participating in the destructive activities e.g. the collection, removal, display, milking and killing of uncontrolled numbers of snakes for entertainment purposes.